Led by the Institute of Customer Service, this week workplaces are celebrating wonderful Customer Services Teams up and down the country and across the nation! At Tillo this isn’t only our team of onboarding, support and account management experts, as you would expect, it’s also our finance and product teams who work closely with our brands and partners to ensure all our clients get the best possible experience from Tillo.

We love our customers and are lucky to receive lovely feedback on a weekly basis. This from one of our partners last week:

“Eddie, I hear they sing songs about your name in the halls of Scandinavia, you’re that good! But Steven - he’s off the chain.

TBF - you’re all great! We can’t speak highly enough of you guys.”

Thanks Ben - we’re certainly feeling the love :-)

Last week we welcomed our latest new starter, Natasha Hutchinson, to the fold. Tash has over a decade of experience in account management, so who better to tell us a bit about her experiences and why good customer service can make or break a business.

Hi Tash, welcome to Tillo! We’re so excited you’ve joined us on our mission to power the entire incentive and perk industry globally. World domination awaits! But, for now, you’ve been in account management roles for over a decade, what’s changed in that time and how has it impacted your role?

A decade - that’s a long time isn’t it?! The fundamentals haven’t actually changed, like what constitutes good customer service; being there to answer queries, respond to issues, going above and beyond when required, building connections with people. However, what has definitely changed is how you engage with clients and the platforms you do so on.

A year, or even six months ago, face to face meetings would’ve been a key part of keeping in touch with clients, even for those who had the option to meet online using the meeting platforms we all now know and mostly love. But since COVID we’ve had to adapt really quickly and of course it can be challenging; building a rapport with a client you’ve never met before can be far more difficult over Zoom.

You touch on the role of technology, in terms of virtual help desks, chatbots etc, do you think that one day the role of the traditional Customer Services Exec will become completely void?

No, it won’t be. There always needs to be a human being at the end of the phone to discuss plans and help fix problems, that can’t ever be taken over by a chatbot or the like, even for SaaS based businesses. The importance of the relationship in B2B is key, ultimately people buy people and this relationship will never just be transactional. Working towards client objectives and shared goals together is paramount.

What makes a great customer services employee? What characteristics do you look for when recruiting for your team?

There’s a few which in my view really are non negotiable. To be successful in any customer service role you need to be great at building relationships and really enjoy it because you love being around and talking to people. When it comes to account management specifically I would also say you need to be intelligent, self motivated and really well organised.

What is your definition of great customer service

Going the extra mile, and then another 10 after that, to exceed customer expectations.

Tell us about a brand who smashes it with their customer services and why they’re so good

It’s hard to give a specific example but there are certainly lots of B2C brands doing some great stuff on Twitter and other social channels which links back to exceeding customer expectations. This is the place consumers go to vent or wax lyrical about the awful/amazing experience they have had with a brand so it really is essential you have a voice on there.

I’ve seen brands doing a great job of responding to negative situations and really turning the customer experience around recently. It can be done, it starts with ensuring that you respond to your customers constructively and let them know what you are going to do to help - and normally it’s best to take the conversation into another (private) communication channel as quickly as possible.

In any situation like this with an unhappy customer, owning the situation (if a mistake has been made on your part) and dealing with it well and swiftly to reach a resolution can really make a difference.

What are the priorities for your first few months at Tillo?

Getting to know all our lovely brands and partners and working with them to make sure they’re getting the most out of the network and our product - ensuring that our clients aren’t missing opportunities so that everyone wins.

What are you most looking forward to?

Speaking to customers but also getting out there as soon as the situation changes and meeting them face to face. Working with the team to really add value to our proposition and then communicating this to customers. We have some exciting events planned for 2021 so watch this space!

Thanks for your time today Tash, it was great to catch up! Before you go, can you tell us a little bit about you and what you like to get up to in your spare time? Any unusual hobbies/things we should know about?

Well perhaps not that unusual when you have a crazy two year old, but I currently spend a lot of time running around local woods hunting for the Gruffalo! Since lockdown I’ve also got into yoga, it really helps me chill out at the end of a busy day. Last week I managed to do a headstand for the first time ever which I was pretty proud of!